Prize Patrol Gives Lake Elmo Family $100,000 Check

By Dennis Douda, WCCO-TV

LAKE ELMO, Minn. (WCCO) — You know those Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol commercials? With the van and the balloons and the great big check? They are for real, and they shocked a family in Lake Elmo Saturday.

Doug O’Shea has been entering the sweepstakes online a lot recently. However, when the familiar faces from Publisher Clearing House showed up in his yard and stood right in front of him, with the balloons and the roses and the big check, he was stunned.

“Speechless,” O’Shea said.

O’Shea is a laid-off construction worker who has been out of work for nearly two years. His wife, Andrea O’Shea, said the timing could not have been better.

“I don’t even have words,” she said “It’s just astonishing and beautiful and kind of a godsend.”

Paying off bills will be a first priority with the surprise windfall.

“It’s just amazing. It really does help relieve the pressure a little bit,” Andrea O’shea said.

An extra bonus is that the prize is essentially tax-free. A Sweepstakes spokesperson said the company will cover any income taxes the O’Sheas are obligate to pay for the $100,000.

Comments

One Comment

  1. George says:

    What a great story, and it couldn;t have happened to a more deserving family!

  2. Mike says:

    Personally, if someone handed me a check for a $100,000.00 tax free, it would be more than, “a little pressure relieving”…………..

  3. Todd says:

    MN state law forbids companies from paying or dsicounting the tax due on income or personal property sales. They would then owe money on the money used to pay their tax obligation. Some news reproter should look into that.

    1. Sue says:

      They could just keep grossing it up till the tax and the income over 100,000 cancel each other out. Using approximations for simplicity’s sake, if they reported:
      156,250 as income
      31,250 as 20% Federal income tax
      10,927.50 as 7% combined FICA/Medicare/whatever
      14,062.50 as 9% state income tax
      the net would equal $100,000.
      Happy to hear of someone laid off who gets a break like this.

    2. Mary Jill Bringgold Duncan says:

      The taxes are probably being withheld, just like on your paycheck. The actual “prize” is then reported to the IRS and the state as being $100,000 PLUS the amount of tax withheld. There’s nothing wrong with that. Companies often pay employees “net bonuses” — meaning they tell the employee they are getting a bonus of, say, $1000 and their check arrives for exactly $1000, clear of taxes. But what the company did was figure how much the bonus actually had to be for the employee to clear $100,000. If this is what is being done, then it makes sense to me.

    3. Mark says:

      Maybe “some news reporter” knew that most people like Sue and Mary for example, would know how this is actually done and didn’t feel the need to explain the process in the article.

      1. martharoberson says:

        give all grace too our god. with him all things are possible

  4. Mark says:

    Todd, I believe the way they do that is to “gross up” the prize to an amount that would “net” the winner the full $100,000 prize after taxes. That way the winner gets the full $100.000 and the tax collector gets his cut also. And when you see those “we pay the sales tax” sales. They merely discount the selling price of the item(s) by the sales tax percentage, so that yes, the tax man gets his cut but the consumer pays 6, 6 1/2 or 7% less, whatever the sales tax rate is. But thanks for bringing that up, you tax watchdog you.

  5. Michelle says:

    Everything happens for a reason, and it was your day…May God Bless you and your family and do not spend it all in one place

  6. PM says:

    IF I HAD TO PAY TAXES ON A FREE MILLION SO BE IT. THERE IS STILL PLENTY LEFT TO PAY THE BILLS AND THEN SOME. CONGRATS TO THEM. MAYBE NOW DOUGLAS CAN DEVOTE SOME OF HIS CONSTRUCTION SKILLS TO HELP REBUILD SOME OF THE HOMES LOST IN THE TORNATOS. GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS MAYBE DOUG CAN BE A PART OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY AND GIVE BACK TO OTHERS IN NEED AS HE WAS.

  7. PM says:

    Opps I thought it was a million dollars they won. Anyway he can still do good things with that money.

  8. Diana Hanlon says:

    This a a Wonderful story I’am so happy to see a family won this big check they problly realy need to pay off all there bill and sit back a relix and have no worry’s Congratulation to you and good work. PRIZE PATROL I’AM READY FOR YOU.

    1. ling thiam guan says:

      i want to win cause i want to improve my business

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